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Archive for December, 2018

The Northern Jets have almost certainly sealed a spot in this year’sfinals after a powerful winover CSU.

FORWARD ROLE: Justin Mesman kicked four goals in a best-on-ground effort for the Jets against CSU.

The Jets snuffed out any hint of an upset with a big first quarterat Peter Hastie Oval, holding the Bushpigs scoreless, on the way to a 16.14 (110) to 6.3 (39) win.

The 71-point win over one of the league’s big improvers is testament to the Jets’ own development, as they racked up a fifth win in six games.

They’re a game clear of Marrar, two wins ahead of sixth-placed Temora, who face a tough run home, and have opened up a 12 point break on the only other potential finalist,North Wagga.

But the Jets’ are yet to beat a top three side and their premiership credentials will be tested in the next fortnight against East Wagga-Kooringal and Coleambally.

However, co-coach Darren Jackson is happy with where they’re headed.

“It was probably the best we’ve played all year,” Jackson said.

“It was a real typical slog but to kick as well as we did and to win by 11 goals, it was very good.”

The versatileJustin Mesmanwas a standout finishing with four goals after a strong marking display playing forward,while Sam Fisher was strong in the middle and Declan O’Rourke controlled the game across half-back.

“The pleasing part about it is, we never had a passenger –there were 14 or 15 players who could’ve been in our best, and all the kids played well,” Jackson said.

“But we’ve got a class side (EWK) next week and you can get your sat on your backside pretty quick.”

The Jets haven’t made the finals since 2013.

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Busy night: Will Hopoate goes into contact. Photo: Getty Images Two good: Brett Morris takes a dive. Photo: Fox Sports

As it happened: Bulldogs v TigersJacob Liddle unlikely to play again this season, says Jason Taylor

Two weeks ago Brett Morris virtually turned down any chance of playing the third State of Origin match, a dead rubber, and the $30,000 which would have come with it.

On Saturday night, he proved he is worth so much more than that to the Bulldogs, with the former Australian and NSW flyer maintaining his sizzling try-scoring spree as the top-four aspirants wore down a gutsy Tigers outfit.

Morris touched down twice – and was denied on just as many occasions by the video referee – to rack up his sixth and seventh tries in just three games back as the antithesis of the rugby league mercenary continued to dazzle after a long-term knee problem.

At this rate, Morris could conceivably end up near the top of the NRL’s try-scoring charts despite missing more than half the season.

It is no coincidence the winger’s return has partly triggered the Bulldogs’ best run all year – four straight wins – as Des Hasler’s side, backed up by powerhouse displays by skipper James Graham and Sam Kasiano, shored up their top-four status with a 32-22 win.

Mitchell Moses’ faultless goalkicking had the Tigers in touch – and in fact leading for long periods – but the Bulldogs always looked likely in a pulsating clash despite trailing by 10 points early.

The Tigers’ hooking circus took another twist with teenage debutant Jacob Liddle scoring in his NRL debut to further cloud coach Jason Taylor’s thinking at No.9.

Missing Robbie Farah (State of Origin) as well as long-term absentees Matt Ballin and Manaia Cherrington (both injured), Liddle’s opportunistic second-half try vaulted the Tigers to the lead before the Bulldogs class shone through.

For a game missing a slew of Origin representatives – including the Tigers’ record trio – the first half was anything but the stale affair a sparsely populated ANZ Stadium might have expected.

Kevin Naiqama scored and then saved one early on, grounding a deft Moses grubber and then hauling Brett Morris into touch with the try line beckoning.

But you can’t keep the Bulldogs ace down for long. At least not this season. He set up Moses Mbye for the hosts’ first and then profited from a bizarre exchange where a failed Naiqama intercept and David Nofoaluma tap back had the ball eventually find his way.

It wasn’t even close to the most dramatic passage of the opening 40 minutes. That belonged to Melbourne-bound Tigers winger Addo-Carr, who skinned the Bulldogs defence and burst 90 metres for a slashing individual try somewhere between the Morris madness.

The competition’s most lethal impact player Kasiano hauled the Bulldogs in front for the first time in the match when his pass released Josh Reynolds for Will Hopoate to score, but Moses’ long-range penalty goal on the siren levelled the scores at half-time.

It didn’t stay that way for long. Liddle, in any other week caught in the logjam of No.9s at Concord, was in the right place at the right time in more ways than one when a fifth-tackle scramble had the ball shovelled back his way.

James Tedesco’s replacement at No.1, Jordan Rankin, should have extended the lead, but his fumble of a Tim Simona kick with the stripe beckoning proved costly.

Contentiously denied by the video referee for a second time in the match, Brett Morris wouldn’t be denied two tackles later when he scooted over having been set up by his twin Josh.

It was enough to give the Bulldogs a sniff and Curtis Rona provided the hammer blow, angling back on the inside after a Hopoate pass and brushing off some feeble Tigers resistance.

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Slippery customer: Cory Jane. Photo: Getty Images As it happened: NSW Waratahs v HurricanesGibson admits Waratahs face difficult task

The NSW Waratahs’ finals hopes are hanging on by a thread after they missed out on a fine chance to cement themselves at the top of the Australian conference against the Hurricanes.

Despite edging ahead 17-11 early in the second half, NSW were run down by a gritty Kiwi outfit to go down by 11 points in a three-tries-to-two display.

NSW remain locked on 39 competition points with the Brumbies given they were unable to get within seven for a losing bonus point, meaning they have to go one better than the Brumbies in the final round.

If the ACT franchise lose – an unlikely scenario against the struggling Western Force at home – NSW need at least a losing bonus point. If the Brumbies win, the Waratahs need a bonus point victory.

The bottom line is if the Waratahs can’t get over the line against the Blues at Eden Park on Friday their season will be done and dusted, a predicament they would not have found themselves in if they had been more up to the task on Saturday evening at Allianz Stadium.

Their third loss from four attempts this year against New Zealand teams means there will be no Australian side with a wildcard.

NSW had the advantage of watching the Brumbies disintegrate in the cauldron that is Eden Park on Friday; a grim reminder that a fierce test awaits them less than a week away.

The Waratahs spoke about how they wanted to send off a number of legends in Dave Dennis and Wycliff Palu as well as Benn Robinson and Kurtley Beale off the field, and there is a good chance those players won’t don the light blue of NSW blue at home again.

The Hurricanes were more expansive in the opening period and were rewarded with the first penalty of the evening due to Palu being offside.

Two penalties and a 6-0 lead was almost doubled when Hurricanes winger Cory Jane put in a deft chip kick for Barrett to run onto and do the rest.

Despite the rain that arrived in the 25th minute, the Waratahs buried their wet weather demons of Christchurch with a slick pick and go finished off by Taqele Naiyaravoro to reduce the margin to four points.

In the penultimate minute of the second half it looked as if Phipps, Michael Hooper – who himself had another sensational outing – and Foley had made a meal of some risky work in their own try area but were given a let off because of a Hurricanes knock-on.

Discipline was poor all night, while the temptation to offload far outweighed the need to do so given the damp field.

When Willis Halaholo was sent to the bin after the half-time siren, Foley slotted a penalty to narrow the gap to one and keep the hosts within range of what would have been a valuable losing bonus point.

Israel Folau had barely got his hands on the ball when he beat three defenders and dragged a couple more over to score arguably the best of his 10 tries this year.

It was his 35th for the Waratahs and 15th at the ground, equalling Matt Burke and Lote Tuqiri’s marks.

However the Hurricanes turned the tides with 17 unanswered points thanks to tries from Jane and Julian Savea as well as a booming penalty from Barrett from distance.

Naiyaravoro was sent to the bin for a clumsy hit on Barrett and the Waratahs paid the price as winger Savea crossed two minutes later to seal the victory on what has been a horrific weekend for Australian teams with margins of 25, 59 and 11 points against their Kiwi rivals.

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Queanbeyan Kangaroos have maintained their lead atop the Canberra Raiders Cup after defeating the Gungahlin Bulls 54-24 on Saturday.

The win has extended their winning streak to nine games and leaves them sitting two points ahead of second place with six games remaining in the season.

While the final scoreline was flattering, it was a game of two halves for the Kangaroos who, despite going into half-time leading 22-18, had struggled to fire.

Despite a first-half double from centre Bryan Cronan and tries from Brent Crisp and Jordan Macey, defensive errors cost the kangaroos dearly. Two of the Bulls’ tries followed fumbles from the restart, much to the frustration of coach Aaron Gorrell.

“To be honest, I don’t think we’ve played that badly since round one. We were pretty disappointing in the first half,” Gorrell said. “We just took them a bit lightly in that first half and they’ve got some quality players that burnt us.”

Starting as a back-and-forth affair, the game soon turned scrappy, with the tension boiling over shortly before the half-time break.

The interval came at the right time for the Kangaroos who returned determined, posting 16 unanswered points within 12 minutes.

“In the second half … they scored a couple of quick tries and a few calls went their way and it just sort of snowballed from there,” Gorrell said.

Cronan completed his hat-trick in stunning fashion as he collected the ball inside, capitalising on a Bulls error to run 80 metres for a 42-18 lead.

Despite the loss the Bulls still sit in fourth, a spot co-coach David Howell admits is the bare minimum the club expected this season.

“We want to be in the top four, that’s the be-all and end-all. We want to be in semi-finals football. We’re the only ones that can do that, so it’s up to us to … get the two points each week. We can’t control what other teams are doing, we’ve just got to get out there and win,” he said.

Roos face Goulburn next round and Gorrell hoped the team would be able to ignore the complacency that’s been creeping into their game.

“I think that’s what we had in the first half, a bit of complacency … we’ve got some good players but we just need to learn to play to a game plan and keep it simple and play to our strengths,” he said.

“We fall in the patches where we think we know better and we make up stuff on the run, so if we can stay to a script and play what’s in front of us I think we’ll be tough to beat.”


First Grade

TUGGERANONG BUSHRANGERS 28 (M Lyons 2, Q Cannon, S Fetuani, M Holmes, A Tupou tries; Q Cannon 2 goals) bt BELCONNEN SHARKS 24 (BJ Sione 2, S Tupuala, J Butz, D Eason tries; D Eason 2 goals)

QUEANBEYAN KANGAROOS 58 (B Cronan 3, K Parsons 3, T Williams 2, B Crisp, J Macey, T Boyd-Black tries; B Crisp 7 goals) bt GUNAGHLIN BULLS 24 (J Eliot, D Howell, D Low, D Smith tries; J Scholes 4 goals)

WEST BELCONNEN 46 (R Thomas 3, L Saipani, T Freeman-Quay, A Greenwood, P Ryan, C Wynnik, tries; R Roberts 7 goals) bt YASS MAGPIES 4 (T Gavenlock try)

QUEANBEYAN BLUES 28 (T Stevens 2, N Naseri, J Agresta, L Berkrey tries; E Malu 4 goals) bt GOULBURN BULLDOGS 24 (D Stephens 3, M Picker tries; B Picker 4 goals)

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Cattle have become victims in the ice problem plaguing the state’s regional towns Photo: SuppliedCattle have become victims of the surging ice problem plaguing the state’s regional areas, with addicts stealing from family farms to fuel their habit.

Cattle duffing – or cattle theft – has continued unabated for the past decade, despite increased efforts from the Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad (SARCIS).

SARCIS state co-ordinator Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said while firearms were major targets in rural criminal enterprise, anything worth money was fair game.

He said there were concerns increasing cattle prices and the demand for beef could increase stock theft.

“If you get a young person or even a family member on a property that is addicted to ice, then organised criminals can leverage off the person’s addiction, then we could see them facilitating the stealing firearms, machinery and even stock,” Det Insp Dowie said.

“Just because you live in the middle of nowhere does not mean you are immune to ice and to the crime that is associated with that drug. People need to be having this conversation with their family members and employees.”

He said while organised crime was not involved in every criminal transaction, large-scale duffing needed a great deal of support to be successful.

“Opportunistic stock theft will always happen.

“When you look at the greater picture, normally those that are well organised criminally to go and steal, for example, 800 bullocks from somewhere are able to get them away and dispose of them without any trace. That’s a highly-organised operation involving quite a few people.

“So you would think reasonably that a crime group that well organised would be involved in other crime as well.”

One such case involving hundreds of cattle stolen in a large mob was four years ago in the central Queensland town of Tambo.

“Some of the previous complaints we’ve had dating way back were large numbers, but in recent times we have had reports of mobs in their hundreds going missing.

“Back in 2012 there were about 800 head of bullock stolen from out at Tambo, which is about a million dollars worth of cattle.”

For someone to pull off a cattle duffing operation of this scale they would have to have insider knowledge, Det Insp Dowie said.

“You’d have to assume someone in the industry was involved, that has the capability to produce that amount of bullocks and it wouldn’t be out of the norm for them to filter the cattle through the meat works. Most likely they would go interstate to sell them.”

Selling off stolen cattle is not an easy prospect. Thieves have to re-identify the cattle and send them off piecemeal to feedlots and slaughterhouses to abate suspicions.

“Slaughterhouses and feedlotters are very helpful – they co-operate with our investigations. But if you are behind the eight ball by six months or sometimes three years, it’s very hard to play chase up.

“People might only muster once in a good year and in a drought they may not muster for two or three years because of the stress put on the cattle and there’s no money in it for that matter.

“That’s why we’re urging people, if they have a suspicion let us know”

The Crime and Corruption Commission’s Illicit Drugs Markets in Queensland: 2015-16 Intelligence Assessment found criminal gangs were making a push into regional Queensland.

“Organised crime groups are entrenched in the methylamphetamine market in Queensland,” it states.

“Interstate organised crime groups are targeting regional areas of Queensland for the supply of crystal methylamphetamine because of the higher profit margins associated with supplying these areas.”

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